IFA President Tim Cullinan and Livestock Chairman Brendan Golden will meet the Department of Agriculture today to discuss the PGI application for ‘Irish Grass-fed beef’.
‘We wrote to Minister McConalogue last week seeking an assurance that he would engage with IFA and farmers before lodging any PGI application with the EU. The Minister gave us an assurance that the Department would engage with us and that process begins today,” he said.
“I believe the Minister recognises that any PGI must have the broad support of farmers,” he said.
“It is a great pity that what should be a positive development for the sector has become mired in controversy due to a lack of consultation on the original application,” he said.
“We have also been in contact with the Ulster Farmers Union who are concerned about the application proceeding without Northern Ireland farmers. It is important, particularly in the context of Brexit, that we don’t create any unintended barriers to the movement of animals across the border. The concerns of Northern Irish farmers must be a factor in the process,” he said.
“We look forward to constructive engagement with the Minister and the Department around these issues. The PGI must have farmer involvement, and it must give a financial return to farmers,” he said.